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Two Stories, One Problem

Farmers Struggle to Raise Produce: Produce farmers are struggling to make a living wage that will cover the cost of seed, equipment and the long days of labor that it takes to grow healthy food. Unlike industrial farming , Acres of Harvest small farmers  use sustainable farming practices to conserve water, soil and to grow food free of toxic fertilizers and pesticides.  This takes more time and labor increasing the cost of the produce but saving the community money in the long run by protecting ecosystems and conserving water sheds. Their healthy food leads to healthier bodies decreasing the strain on community health care systems.

Food Insecure Families Struggle to Afford Produce: Unlike commodity farmers (corn, wheat, soy bean producers) fruit and vegetable farmers receive no guaranteed subsidies to grow their food. Subsidies make it possible for commodity food farmers to offer their products at a much cheaper price than products from produce farmers. In turn, food producers using commodity food products are able to mass produce their food at a much cheaper rate.  It’s no accident that much of the most affordable food uses  commodity farm products such as high fructose corn syrup and refined white flour. These foods are filling but calorie rich and nutritionally poor. Low income families often stretch their food dollars by filling their bellies with these unhealthy calories leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Research:The University of Washington* conducted a research study of the cost of  2000 calories of sweets and snack food  verses the cost of the same calories of foods like fruits and vegetables. Here is what they found:

  • Energy dense, nutrition poor (junk food) $3.54
  • Less energy dense, nutrition rich (fruits, vegetables) $36.32

 

A stark comparison but an illumniated reality of why the poorest of our community are paradoxically overweight and malnourshed.

Make the Connection:

Help Farmers Help the Hungry: The purchases you make through Acres of Harvest has a double benefit. It helps local farmers approach a living wage with a reliable market and gives the hungry access to the healthiest food available. Help fight disease, conserve farm land and protect our water supply by purchasing a C.S.A. share or individual food items through the Buying Club and donate it to God’s Outreach Food Bank.  To get started, register on our Membership Sign-up  page. Food deliveries will begin May 14, 2013.

 

* Adam Drewnowski et al.  University of Washington Research study  at the Center of Public Health Nutrition.